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How to Record YouTube Videos: The Easiest Guide for All Devices

Learn how to record Youtube Videos on Mac, Windows or mobile devices. We cover how to record published YouTube videos and how to make your own.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Last Updated:
September 28, 2022
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

YouTube is famous for being the most popular video-sharing platform on the internet, with over 2.6 billion yearly users. There is a reason that over 12 million amateur creators choose to upload their content to YouTube – not only is it the best place to tap into an audience, but recording YouTube videos is a straightforward process.

No matter which device you want to use, from PCs to iPhones, you can find out how to film a YouTube video by reading the steps in this article.

Are you legally allowed to record YouTube videos?

The legality of screen recording YouTube videos can be confusing. It is acceptable to record a video for personal use that does not involve re-using or redistributing that content. However, re-uploading a copy of that video would break YouTube’s rules.

YouTube’s terms of service say that downloading, converting, and reusing videos violates its policies. So, does this mean it is illegal to record YouTube videos? Because the content uploaded on YouTube is protected under US copyright law, it is illegal to record YouTube videos for commercial purposes. This applies to you, wherever you may be watching from.

However, using parts of copyrighted videos in a video you have made yourself can be permitted under the fair use policy. YouTube’s fair use policy allows the use of copyrighted content in videos that are educational or critical. YouTube is also home to some non-copyrighted material, which is perfectly legal to record.

What do you need to record a YouTube video?

If you choose to screen record a YouTube video, you will need to use screen recording software. Some devices have a built-in screen recording option. You can also access third-party screen recording software which, luckily, is widely available and often free.  

Riverside is a video recording platform with HD screen recording software, giving you the power to record your screen, video, and audio at the same time! Other popular screen recording software includes Vimeo and OBS Studio. For mobile devices, screen recording apps are available to download. To choose the right software, decide which features of screen recording are important to you.

On the other hand, if you’d like to create your own YouTube video from scratch, you can do so with just a smartphone or a laptop with a built-in mic and webcam. However, to stand out on YouTube you will likely need to invest in some basic equipment. This includes: 

Think about your specific style of content and your preferences for equipment – such as being easily maneuverable, user-friendly, or low-cost. 

How to record YouTube videos on any device

You can screen record YouTube videos on any device providing you have screen recording software. Streamline your video recording experience by using Riverside, which provides you with a tailored space to record and edit content. You can record your own YouTube video on any device with a camera and microphone. 

The process for recording a video will be different depending on whether you are recording from a smartphone, iPad, PC, or laptop, and which operating system you are using. 

Follow the steps below to record a great YouTube video with whichever device you have.

How to record YouTube videos from a PC or laptop

You can screen-record YouTube videos on both Mac and Windows operating systems with ease. You may prefer to use a PC or laptop, so you can view the video on a large screen.

Although there are numerous ways of recording YouTube videos on Mac and Windows devices, this guide will cover an effective method for each operating system.

How to record a YouTube video on Mac

You can record a YouTube video on a Mac easily by using the free inbuilt application Quicktime.

Step1: Go to your Applications and search for Quicktime.

Step 2: Open Quicktime and select ‘File’, then ‘New Screen Recording’.

Step 3: Click on Options. Here you can choose where you want to save the recording, and whether you want your pointer to be included. 

Screen recording options for recording a YouTube video on Mac

Step 4: Open a browser and bring up the YouTube video you want to record. 

Step 5: Click the Record button on Quicktime.

Step 6: Play the YouTube video.

Step 7: Use the Stop Recording button to end your screen recording.

Step 6: Your recording will save to your selected location.

How to record a YouTube video on Windows

You can access Riverside, a studio-quality video recording platform, from a Windows or Mac device. Riverside’s screen recording software is high definition, with up to 1080p resolution! It’s easy to use by following these steps for screen recording:

Step 1: Open Riverside in a Chrome browser.

Step 2: Make a Riverside account.

Step 3: Click the New Studio button to create a studio. Select ‘Audio & Video’ and then ‘Enter Studio’

Creating a YouTube recording studio on Riverside

Step 4: You’ll be taken to the green room where you can test any equipment if you plan on recording your webcam or audio as well as your screen. When you are ready, select Join Studio

Riverside lobby for recording a YouTube video

Step 5: In the studio, hit the Screen icon and then select a screen, window, or Chrome tab to share. 

Recording a YouTube video on Riverside

Tick the Share audio button if you want to record the video’s audio as well.

Step 6: Press Click the Share button. You will now be able to view your screen in real-time in a separate window.

Step 7: When you’ve set up your YouTube video from where you want to capture content, click the Record button.

Play the YouTube video in the window you are recording.

Step 8: When you want to end the recording, click the red Stop button.

Step 9: You can download your recording by clicking View recordings. Here, you will see a separate recording of your shared screen. 

You can choose to download this as a constant frame rate MP4, which will help sync up your video and audio. Alternatively, you can choose to edit your recorded YouTube video by selecting the take and then selecting ‘Edit & Create’.

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How to record YouTube videos on a mobile device

Recording a YouTube video on mobile is easy to do. For devices with iOS 14 or later, or Android 11, you can use your mobile’s inbuilt screen recording software. For older devices, downloading a screen recording app will allow you to record a YouTube video. 

How to record a YouTube video on iPhone and iPad

Step 1: Go to Settings and then to the Control Center.

Step 2: Click on the green Add button next to Screen Recording.

Step 3: On your iPhone or iPad, open the Control Center. 

Step 4: Hold down the Record button. To record audio, tap the Microphone button.

Step 5: Press Start Recording. There will be a 3-second countdown before your screen begins to be recorded. 

Step 6: Open up the YouTube app and find the video you want to record. Simply play the video.

Step 7: When you’re ready to end the recording, press the red Record button in the Control Center. 

Step 8: Find your screen recording in your Photos app. 

How to record a YouTube video on Android

If your Android device is an older model, you will need to download a screen recording app such as XRecorder or AZ Screen Recorder. 

If your mobile device is an Android 11 or higher, you will be able to use the screen recorder already on your phone, simply by following these steps:

Step 1: Access your Quick Settings panel by pulling down the Notifications panel.

Step 2: Click on the Screen recorder icon. 

Step 3: If you can’t find the Screen recorder icon, click on the Plus symbol. Then select the Screen Recorder symbol and drag it onto your Quick Settings menu.

Step 4: After you have pressed the Screen recorder button, it’s time to choose your settings. You can have your media sound recorded and your mic recorded if you wish.

Step 5: Choose Start recording to begin screen recording.

Step 6: Open up the YouTube app. Find the video you would like to record, and play it. Your screen recorder will capture the video as it plays. 

Step 7: Select the red recording icon at the top of your screen and press Tap here to stop recording when you are ready to end your recording. 

Step 8: Find your saved video in the media storage section of your phone. 

How to film your own YouTube video

These steps will cover the process of filming a YouTube video, and how you can do this with Riverside. This guide covers the basics of recording your video, but you can find more details about filming for YouTube in our article about making YouTube videos.

Step 1: Choose your backdrop: This could be a blank wall or a green screen, but make sure that your location isn’t so busy that it distracts your viewers.

Step 2: Set up your equipment: Use the rule of thirds when deciding your camera angle, and test your camera and microphone before you record.

Step 3: Create an account or sign in to Riverside easily via a Chrome browser, or the Riverside App.

Step 4: Create a recording studio by selecting the New Studio button.

Step 5: Name your studio and decide if you’d like to invite remote guests to join your recording. You can invite up to 7 participants to join your recording on Riverside.

Once you’ve done so, press Go to Studio. 

Step 5: You’ll be directed to the Riverside green room. Take some time to check how you, your camera angle, and backdrop look in the camera view. Once set, press  Join Studio.

Step 6: When you are ready, begin recording. This takes just one click of our red Recording button.

Step 7: If you’d like, you can share your screen by toggling the Share button in your studio. 

Step 9: Once finished, you can press the Stop button to end the recording. Wait for your files to upload and then select  View recordings

Step 10: You can download separate tracks for your own post-production editing, or you can click on a take and select  Edit & Create to customize your new YouTube video with Riverside’s text-based Editor.

You can also repurpose your video into shareable Shorts with our Magic Clips tool. This uses Ai to turn your recording's key moments into short shareable clips.

Step 10: Create a thumbnail. This is an essential component of YouTube videos. Your thumbnail should be eye-catching and quickly convey the hook of your video.

Step 11: Upload to YouTube. You can do this by logging into your YouTube account on desktop or the YouTube app and selecting the Create button. From there, choose the video you want to upload.

FAQs on How to Record YouTube Videos

How do I record and watch a YouTube video?

You can record a YouTube video from a computer or mobile device by using screen recording software. Depending on your device, this software may be inbuilt. Otherwise, you can download a screen recording app or open a screen recording platform such as Riverside. This will allow you to capture the YouTube video as it plays on your screen. 

How can I record YouTube videos for free?

You can record YouTube videos for free by using the software already available on your device, for example, QuickTime on Mac. If you don’t have access to inbuilt screen recording software, there are free video recording platforms such as Riverside. It is free to get started with Riverside, where you can screen record videos easily. 

Is it illegal to screen-record YouTube videos?

You should not screen-record other people’s YouTube videos, as this violates copyright laws. Screen recording a YouTube video and then uploading it yourself, on any platform, is illegal. You can use clips taken from YouTube videos in your own content, as long as you follow the Fair Use Policy.

Can I record YouTube videos on my phone?

You can easily record YouTube videos on both iOS and Android phones. If your phone has at least an iOS 14 or Android 11 operating system, you will be able to use inbuilt screen recording software.

There’s no need to worry if your phone is an older model. You can still record a YouTube video by using a screen recorder while the video plays. You will simply need to download a screen recording app, such as AZ Screen Recorder, and begin recording with it.

What do YouTubers use for recording?

The devices YouTubers use to record varies greatly among content creators. Some like to keep it simple with just a smartphone. However, many YouTubers choose to record with a designated camera and microphone chosen specifically to improve their audio and video quality. Another common piece of equipment for YouTubers is a tripod or stabilizer, which is used to reduce shaking in recordings.

Where do YouTubers get their video clips?

YouTubers often include clips taken from other videos, films, or TV shows in their content. The use of clips for criticism or reviews is protected under the Fair Use Policy.

You can get your own video clips from other YouTube videos, or from any other content that you can record with screen recording software. You could also check out a stock video website, such as Pixabay or Videvo, to get access to a range of video clips.

Be sure to read the Fair Use Policy before you create your video, as there are limitations on how you use video clips without violating copyright laws.

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